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[908a] for each separate act of impiety. Imprisonment shall be imposed in every case; and since there are three prisons in the State (namely, one public prison near the market for most cases, to secure the persons of the average criminals; a second, situated near the assembly-room of the officials who hold nightly assemblies,1 and named the “reformatory”; and a third, situated in the middle of the country, in the wildest and loneliest spot possible, and named after “retribution”2), and since men are involved in impiety [908b] from the three causes which we have described, and from each such cause two forms of impiety result—consequently those who sin in respect of religion fall into six classes which require to be distinguished, as needing penalties that are neither equal nor similar. For while those who, though they utterly disbelieve in the existence of the gods, possess by nature a just character, both hate the evil and, because of their dislike of injustice, are incapable of being induced to commit unjust actions, and flee from unjust men [908c] and love the just, on the other hand, those who, besides holding that the world is empty of gods, are afflicted by incontinence in respect of pleasures and pains, and possess also powerful memories and sharp wits—though both these classes share alike in the disease of atheism, yet in respect of the amount of ruin they bring on other people, the latter class would work more and the former less of evil. For whereas the one class will be quite frank in its language about the gods and about sacrifices and oaths, [908d] and by ridiculing other people will probably convert others to its views, unless it meets with punishment, the other class, while holding the same opinions as the former, yet being specially “gifted by nature'' and being full of craft and guile, is the class out of which are manufactured many diviners and experts in all manner of jugglery; and from it, too, there spring sometimes tyrants and demagogues and generals, and those who plot by means of peculiar mystic rites of their own, and the devices of those who are called “sophists.” Of these there may be many kinds; [908e] but those which call for legislation are two, of which the “ironic”3 kind commits sins that deserve not one death only or two, while the other kind requires both admonition and imprisonment. Likewise also the belief that the gods are neglectful breeds two other kinds of impiety; and the belief in their being open to bribes, other two. These kinds being thus distinguished, those criminals who suffer from folly,4 being devoid of evil disposition and character, shall be placed by the judge according to law in the reformatory for a period of not less than five years, during which time no other of the citizens

1 Cp. Plat. Laws 909a, Plat. Laws 961a.

2 Cp. Plat. Laws 704b.

3 i.e. “hypocritical,” hiding impiety under a cloak of religion.

4 Cp. Plat. Laws 863b, Plat. Laws 863c.

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